The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Translated into English Prose  - Vana Parva, Part 2

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Translated into English Prose - Vana Parva, Part 2

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Published 08 December 2010
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, (Hanuman) lay across the narrow path, beautified by plantain trees, obstructing it for the sake of the safety of Bhima. With the object that Bhima might not come by curse or defeat, by entering into the plantain wood, the ape Hanuman of huge body lay down amidst the plantain trees, [Pg 301] being overcome with drowsiness. And he began to yawn, lashing his long tail, raised like unto the pole consecrated to Indra, and sounding like thunder. And on all sides round, the mountains by the mouths of caves emitted those sounds in echo, like a cow lowing. And as it was being shaken by the reports produced by the lashing of the tail, the mountain with its summits tottering, began to crumble all around. And overcoming that roaring of mad elephants, the sounds of his tail spread over the varied slopes of the mountain. "On those sounds being heard the down of Bhima's body stood on end; and he began to range that plantain wood, in search of those sounds. And that one of mighty arms saw the monkey-chief in the plantain wood, on an elevated rocky base. And he was hard to be looked at even as the lightning-flash; and of coppery hue like that of the lightning-flash: and endued with the voice of the lightning-flash; and quick moving as the lightningflash; and having his short flesh neck supported on his shoulders; and with his waist slender in consequence of the fullness of his shoulders. And his tail covered with long hair, and a little bent at the end, was raised like unto a banner. And (Bhima) saw Hanuman's head furnished with small lips, and coppery face and tongue, and red ears, and brisk eyes, and bare white incisors sharpened at the edge. And his head was like unto the shining moon; adorned with white teeth within the mouth; and with mane scattered over, resembling a heap of asoka flowers. And amidst the golden plantain trees, that one of exceeding effulgence was lying like unto a blazing fire, with his radiant body. And that slayer of foes was casting glances with his eyes reddened with intoxication. And the intelligent Bhima saw that mighty chief of monkeys, of huge body, lying like unto the Himalaya, obstructing the path of heaven. And seeing him alone in that mighty forest, the undaunted athletic Bhima, of long arms, approached him with rapid strides, and uttered a loud shout like unto the thunder. And at that shout of Bhima, beasts and birds became all alarmed. The powerful Hanuman, however, opening his eyes partially looked at him (Bhima) with disregard, with eyes reddened with intoxication. And then smilingly addressing him, Hanuman said the following words, 'Ill as I am, I was sleeping sweetly. Why hast thou awakened me? Thou shouldst show kindness to all creatures, as thou hast reason. Belonging to the animal species, we are ignorant of virtue. But being endued with reason, men show kindness towards creatures. Why do then reasonable persons like thee commit themselves to acts contaminating alike body, speech, and heart, and destructive of virtue? Thou knowest not what virtue is, neither hast thou taken council of the wise. And therefore it is that from ignorance, and childishness thou destroyest the lower animals. Say, who art thou, and what for hast thou come to the forest devoid of humanity and human beings? And, O foremost of men, tell thou also, whither thou wilt go to-day. Further it is impossible to proceed. Yonder hills are inaccessible. O hero, save the passage obtained by the practice of asceticism, there is no passage to that place. This is the path of the celestials; it is ever impassable by mortals. Out of kindness, O hero, do I dissuade thee. Do thou hearken unto my words. Thou canst not proceed further from this place. Therefore, O lord, do thou desist. O chief of men, to-day in very way thou art welcome to this place. If thou think it proper to accept my words, do thou then, O best of men, rest here, partaking of fruits and roots, sweet as ambrosia, and do not have thyself destroyed for naught.'" [Pg 302] SECTION CXLVI Vaisampayana said, "O represser of foes, hearing these words of the intelligent monkey-chief, the heroic Bhima answered, 'Who art thou? And why also hast thou assumed the shape of a monkey? It is a Kshatriya —one of a race next to the Brahmanas—that asketh thee. And he belongeth to the Kuru race and the lunar stock, and was borne by Kunti in her womb, and is one of the sons of Pandu, and is the off spring of the windgod, and is known by the name of Bhimasena.' Hearing these words of the Kuru hero, Hanuman smiled, and that son of the wind-god (Hanuman) spake unto that offspring of the windgod (Bhimasena), saying, 'I am a monkey, I will not allow thee the passage thou desirest. Better desist and go back. Do thou not meet with destruction.' At this Bhimasena replied. 'Destruction at anything else do I not ask thee about, O monkey. Do thou give me passage. Arise! Do not come by grief at my hands.' Hanuman said, 'I have no strength to rise; I am suffering from illness. If go thou must, do thou go by overleaping me.' Bhima said, 'The Supreme Soul void of the properties pervadeth a body all over. Him knowable alone by knowledge, I cannot disregard. And therefore, will I not overleap thee. If I had not known Him from Whom become manifest all creatures, I would have leapt over thee and also the mountain, even as Hanuman had bounded over the ocean.' Thereupon Hanuman said, 'Who is that Hanuman, who had bounded over the ocean? I ask thee, O best of men. Relate if thou canst.' Bhima replied, 'He is even my brother, excellent with every perfection, and endued with intelligence and strength both of mind and body. And he is the illustrious chief of monkeys, renowned in the Ramayana. And for Rama's queen, that king of the monkeys even with one leap crossed the ocean extending over a hundred yojanas. That mighty one is my brother. I am equal unto him in energy, strength and prowess and also in fight. And able am I to punish thee. So arise. Either give me passage or witness my prowess today. If thou do not listen to my bidding, I shall send thee to the abode of Yama.'" Vaisampayana continued. "Then knowing him (Bhima) to be intoxicated with strength, and proud of the might of his arms, Hanuman, slighting him at